Tagged: Merrill Lynch

Datafeed Speed and Market Structure

If you absolutely must have trading data fast, who’s your huckleberry?

Burstream, apparently. The firm claims it can serve up actionable, meaningful trading data, no matter what market mayhem, in 600 nanoseconds. That’s 600 billionths of a second. The catch? You have to trade at the Nasdaq.

Burstream’s system is being installed at the Nasdaq OMX market center in New Jersey so the exchange’s important proprietary-trading customers will have a split-second – taken to the extreme – advantage. Customers wanting to use these superfast capabilities will be able to load their algorithms onto Burstream servers parked next to boxes housing the Nasdaq’s trade-matching engines.

Burstream systems will go near the Chicago Mercantile Exchange too. The idea is to unify data streams on stocks, commodities and derivatives so decisions about trading on divergence can be made faster than ever before possible. This is, of course, arbitrage.

Burstream says at its website: “Enable your high frequency trading algorithms to hit liquidity when it is revealed. Trade through market bursts while competitors exit the market. Sustained nanosecond speeds, even during message bursts will give your latency-sensitive algorithms a performance advantage.”

What makes Burstream special is its use of field-programmable gate-array chips (FPGAs) that can perform multiple calculations simultaneously, thus delivering a speed advantage over conventional hardware-processing techniques. (more…)